One can imagine the set for a Larry Clark movie wouldn’t be the most fun place on Earth, but it sounds like 2001’s Bully was especially unpleasant for one particular actor. Daniel Franzese, who you probably recognize from Mean Girls and HBO’s Looking, wrote in an emotional Facebook post over the weekend that actress Bijou Phillips “body shamed” and “ridiculed” the young actor about his “sexuality” in addition to physically assaulting him.
Phillips has now offered an apology via a statement TMZ. “I want to write to address what Daniel has said,” she says. “I don’t remember that time well, those years are a blur. I was a teenager and reckless in my behavior. I know Daniel to be a trustworthy and honest person, and to find out through social media that I was not the friend I thought I was to him made me so sad. I am so mortified by this behavior and have contacted Daniel and apologized to him privately. I am not and never have been homophobic. I have nothing but love for the LGBTQ community and Daniel.”
That behavior is painstakingly detailed in Franzese’s post, but it includes multiple mocking comments about his sexuality in addition to cruel comments about his body. “I was scared and closeted and feared for my job,” he wrote. “It started with a lot of eye rolling whenever we spoke but escalated when we did a cast shoot for the [film’s] poster. As we were shooting she kept loudly saying ‘Are you gay?!’ and laughing while the producers and photographer did nothing to stop her.”
Later, she allegedly twisted his nipple, kicked him in the back of the head “as hard as she could,” and rubbed dirt on the back of his neck with her feet. He also claims she burned the film’s costume designer with a cigarette.
“It was such a blessing to get a foot into Hollywood’s door,” he wrote, “but I was greeted at that door with homophobia, body shaming and abuse.” he wrote. “The way I was treated in that hostile work environment gave me a PTSD that had me stay closeted for a long time.”
The affirming part of his story? It sounds as if the film’s other cast members, most notably Michael Pitt and the late Brad Renfro, remained supportive and stood up for Franzese during filming.
Phillips, meanwhile, is now married to Scientologist and That ’70s Show actor Danny Masterson, who has recently been hit with multiple allegations of rape.
Read his full post below.
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